Apr 232003
Authors: Paul Franco

Reality has hit the big screen and count me as one of the excited. This Friday, what is being touted as the first reality feature film (I guess documentaries do not depict reality and aren’t features or films, that’s a little weird) comes to a theater near us, that means right here in Fort Collins!

MTV, the leading purveyor (and some might say originators) of reality television, brings us “The Real Cancun” (as opposed to the fake Cancun, say South Padre Island). For some of you this may be news and I suggest you dig yourself out of your hole and visit a few Web sites. You can’t help but run into the racy pictures of a girl’s ample chest or a girl with her back to you in a buttocks-baring thong.

Very racy stuff indeed! But we must not forget reality portraying when we describe this movie! It’s reality at its most staged … and spontaneous! And I for one prefer staged reality over the real thing!

“The Real Cancun” is sure to expose me to the truth behind what goes on at spring break (and more specifically Cancun at spring break) just as “The Real World/Road Rules Challenge” exposes me to what goes on when you take former cast members from “The Real World” and “Road Rules,” pay for them to stay at a luxury resort in Jamaica and have them participate in extreme challenges. Reality!

MTV has dared to ask the question we have been pondering since the inception of reality based entertainment, but we’re too afraid to ask. What happens when you visit campuses around the country, have casting calls sent out, interview thousands of co-eds, carefully pick out those beautiful few that have shown they have the highest prospects of getting wild, pay for them to go to Cancun (I’m assuming) and have a camera crew document every shot taken, every three-way kiss and every drop of vomit spewed?

The answer is deafening: “Reality, that’s what happens!” If only MTV had come here to Colorado State, it might be some of us in “The Real Cancun” as opposed to some kids from say, Texas Tech. Just imagine real students (that we really know!) from our real university (that we really attend!) could have stopped being nice and gotten real in Mexico and had it all filmed (or taped, I’m not sure, they might not have shelled out the bucks for film. Plus everything is that much realer on video!).

The tagline reads: “No scripts. No actors. No rules. Anything can happen during spring break, and it did.” Oh, man, anything happened? I can only imagine, but one thing that I really do know for sure is that it was all real, regardless of whether the reality portrayed is carefully controlled or not!

I’m not sure when having no scripts, no actors and no rules in a movie or television show began to constitute reality, but I sure like it better than that reality which I am living right now. I’d sure as hell rather be a carefully chosen cast member on the dangerous and intriguing Survivor Island or in an incredible suite on the top floor of a casino in Vegas with a carefully chosen job for me. That’s the reality I want to live, not this dull one where I have to go to class, write an article every week and watch reality television on MTV.

Where is the portal to this reality that eludes me? I think it lays somewhere in being good-looking, fit, volatile, incredibly stupid when drunk and having a total lack of inhibition. These properties would have landed me as a cast member in any reality show, but I would have preferred to be part of the groundbreaking first reality-based movie, “The Real Cancun.”

Alas, those of you who know me know that I possess almost none of these qualities. So I guess I’ll have to settle with viewing other kids my age act out reality in order that I may forget the reality in which I live. Somehow reality-based entertainment gives me an escape from reality. How this is accomplished through the depiction of reality escapes me, but it sure is neat (and real!).

“The Real Cancun” is sure to revolutionize filmmaking. From the very earliest films made by the Lumiere Brothers (such as “Train Arriving” and “Men Leaving Work”) to the more recent documentaries such as “Hoop Dreams” and “Bowling for Columbine,” filmmakers have tried to capture reality in its purest essence, but each attempt has failed miserably. “The Real Cancun” is sure to set the standard for capturing reality. It will be the exemplar against which we compare all other types of reality entertainment and reality in general.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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